NS3975 : Dumbarton West Kirk

taken 7 years ago, near to Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

This is 1 of 3 images, with title Dumbarton West Kirk in this square
Dumbarton West Kirk
Dumbarton West Kirk
For another contributor's earlier picture, see NS3975 : Dumbarton West Kirk.

The first church on this site was built in 1794, when land was feued for the building of a Relief Church and a manse, and for a place of burial. The document granting the feu is dated 6th February 1794, and the construction of the church was completed in that year. The congregation was made up of those who had seceded from the established church in Cardross Parish. They were soon joined by like-minded people from the Burgh of Dumbarton (this area, West Bridgend, was not part of the Burgh of Dumbarton until 1857).

The original 1794 church building no longer exists; it was replaced, twice. The first of those replacement buildings came about after it was decided, in 1859, that a new church should be built; the old building was by then showing signs of deterioration. That second church opened at the end of 1860; the building survives to this day, but it is now used as church halls. In the present photograph, it is the building that is just out of shot to the left, shown separately in NS3975 : Dumbarton West Kirk: church halls and NS3975 : Dumbarton West Kirk: church halls.

The second replacement building is the one shown in the present photograph; the architect was John McLeod (presumably Dumbarton's town architect of that name NS4076 : Memorial to John McLeod, Town Architect). The foundation stone was laid in 1886; construction began in that year, and the church opened in 1888. The building is dated 1887 above its entrance: NS3975 : Dumbarton West Kirk: detail. The stone used to build it was taken from nearby NS3876 : Dalreoch Quarry.

In the meantime, a separate Dalreoch parish church (1873) had been built not far from here (NS3891775779); like the third church (just described) at West Bridgend, Dalreoch Church was designed by John McLeod. In recent times, some Church of Scotland congregations were merged; the West Bridgend and Dalreoch congregations were combined, and they would meet at the church here at West Bridgend, which came to be called the West Kirk. The Dalreoch church building was later demolished.

Of the original graveyard, which was still present in 1969, very few memorials now remain; the original burial site has been cleared away a pity: NS3975 : Dumbarton West Kirk: former burial ground. A mere two memorials remain, located just south of the church hall: the MacAuslan memorial (NS3975 : Dumbarton West Kirk: the MacAuslan Memorial) and the Buchanan memorial (NS3975 : Dumbarton West Kirk: the Buchanan Memorial).

Aside from those two, there is a war memorial (NS3975 : War Memorial from Dalreoch Church) in the form of a Celtic cross; it was brought here from Dalreoch Church before the latter was demolished. The war memorial for the (pre-merger) West Bridgend congregation itself is made of bronze, and is located within the West Kirk.
Dumbarton West Kirk

The present church building opened in 1888, and is the work of Dumbarton's town architect, John McLeod. It replaces William Spence's 1860 church building, which stands immediately to the south of the present church, and which now serves as church halls. The 1860 building, in turn, replaced the original Relief Church at West Bridgend, which was built in 1794, and which stood in the same area. The associated burial ground, now cleared away, also dated from 1794.

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Grid Square
NS3975, 588 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Monday, 14 January, 2013   (more nearby)
Thursday, 24 January, 2013
Geographical Context
Religious sites 
Architect (from Tags)
John McLeod 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3903 7553 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.7461N 4:34.7517W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3906 7554
View Direction
West-southwest (about 247 degrees)
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Other Tags
Church  Church (Church of Scotland) 

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